Likes for Instagram posts have always been a major focus on this social media platform. That may change as the company is starting to hide likes on Instagram.
Latest social media trend affects Instagram likes
Testing the idea to hide likes on Instagram began in May 2019 in Canada. Since then, the test has grown to include Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
Certain Instagram users in these countries have been selected to participate in the test. These users are unable to view the like count beneath their posts.
Now they have to go out of their way to find it by clicking on “others”, which is underneath the post. But only the account owner can access this information.
An Instagram user’s like count was often the measure brands used to gauge an Instagrammer’s level of influence. Although the like count might not have been an entirely accurate measure, nonetheless it was what brands had to work with.
How will this affect Instagram?
If this social media giant eventually decides to hide likes on Instagram posts for every single account, would that really be such a bad thing? There’s no doubt it would be an adjustment, but there are some benefits to it.
Advantages of hiding likes on Instagram
- Instagrammers will feel free to post more creative content that won’t necessarily earn as many likes as their typical posts would;
- Users will be more focused on creating quality content, rather than getting distracted by getting as many likes as possible;
- Likes were never a truly accurate measure of success. The plan to hide likes on Instagram would force Instagrammers to rely on other, more reliable measures.
Challenges of hiding likes on Instagram
Despite the positives, bringing such a major change to this social media platform would have its challenges.
- It will be more difficult for brands to determine which influencers would be worth teaming up with;
- Businesses on Instagram would have to work harder to find out which posts are giving them the most success and helping them reach their goals;
- It was easy to look at the like count, but if the focus shifts away from that metric, businesses are going to have to dig a little deeper for their data analysis.
Possible results of the changes
Here are a few possibilities of what might occur as a result of taking away the ability to see likes for Instagram posts.
- Instead of teaming up with influencers, brands might use paid ads on Instagram;
- Alternatively, brands might look to other metrics (like reach or saves) to determine the level of influence an Instagrammer has;
- Small businesses that don’t have many followers on Instagram might put more effort into their Facebook pages or blogs.
What you need to do
Although the plan to hide likes on Instagram hasn’t yet reached the USA, if it does come here you need to be prepared.
- Create high-quality content that interests, informs, and helps readers;
- Find a micro-influencer that has an audience you wish to target. These micro-influencers might not have as many followers, but all that matters is that they are the right followers;
- Compare the cost of teaming up with influencers to the cost of sponsored posts. Which option is more expensive?
- You should also compare the engagement rates of the two options. When you see which brings more success you will know which to focus on;
- Encourage more comments, which might become just as important as likes.
Although likes for Instagram posts have always been important for businesses and influencers, this might soon change. By getting prepared and planning for upcoming changes, you will be ready for them when they arrive.
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